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Energised: Bermuda’s 10MW battery system switches on

The 10MW / 5.5MWh project in Bermuda. Image: Saft / BELCO

Total’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Saft, has completed work on a 10MW / 5.5MWh energy storage project in Bermuda that only began in February.

The company, which was featured in last week as it unveiled a new 2.5MWh containerised battery energy storage solution to the European market at Intersolar, has provided the system for utility Bermuda Electric Light Company (BELCO) to deliver spinning reserve and frequency response applications. The island territory has been long dependent on fossil fuel imports, with the passing of an Electricity Act in 2016 marking the start of a process of modernisation.

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At the recent Intersolar event, Saft’s Michael Lippert told that in maturing markets, the need for energy is now catching up with the need for power applications. In regions such as the US and Australia, batteries with two to four-hour durations are being sought for solar time shifting or load-shifting as the penetration of solar on the grid goes beyond 20% or more. Nonetheless, in newer markets, the pattern appears to be that short duration storage with high power capabilities is put on the grid first to provide flexibility, such as in this instance.

“The BELCO project continues a long series of successful energy storage deployments by Saft to support island grids since 2003. Saft is committed to provide BELCO with a reliable and high-performance spinning reserve solution as an alternative to its generators,” Saft executive VP for telecoms, transport and grid, Hervé Amossé said.

BELCO’s requirements in commissioning the project were “stringent’, Saft said, with high reliability, low operational cost and guaranteed performance over the asset’s lifetimes all criteria that had to be met. The turnkey system’s power conversion equipment can simultaneously support grid frequency with active power, while also providing reactive power to stabilise voltage.

Assembled at Saft’s plant in Jacksonville, Florida, the system uses ABB-made power conversion components and switchgear, while the Saft ESS system integrates control and monitoring capabilities.

“We selected Saft because of its long track record of creating energy storage systems for remote and island communities. The ESS for BELCO will integrate energy-efficient power conversion equipment as a package with a 20-year asset life,” BELCO Power Generation mechanical engineer Stephanie Simons said. 

Image: Saft / BELCO.

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